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A researcher has come out complaining that a religious-right "expert" distorted her work to stigmatize the LGBTQ community.
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A researcher has come out complaining that a religious-right "expert" distorted her work to stigmatize the LGBTQ community. In the piece Fitzgibbons cites the work of Seton Hall professor Theodora Sirota to make the case that children in same-sex households are not raised better than children "in stable homes with a mother and a father.
However, according to Sirota, Fitzgibbons misused her work. You can read her statement here , but Box Turtle Bulletin breaks the distortion down nicely :.
The problem is not with what Fitzgibbons said; it's what he left out: The gay and bisexual fathers in Sirota's study were married to the mothers. Or as Dr. Sirota says in her letter, "3059o conclusions about gay or lesbian fitness to adopt children or quality of active gay parenting can be drawn from the findings of my research.
No conclusions about the well-being of children who are or were actively raised by gay or lesbian parents can be drawn from the findings of my research. While religious-right circles look upon NARTH as experts on the LGBT community, the mainstream scientific community pretty much ignores the group's research, and with good reason.
NARTH' co-founder, Joesph Nicolosi encourages male clients to become more masculine by drinking Gatorade and referring to friends as "dude". NARTH therapists have been known to practice rubber band therapy, where a gay client is made to wear a rubber band and snap it on his wrist when sexually stimulated.
It is a mild form of aversion therapy meant to "snap" the client out of the moment of attraction. NARTH members have also been known to practice "touch therapy", where a client sits in the therapist' lap for up to an hour, while the therapist caresses him.
In another member of NARTH, George Rekers, resigned from the organization after being caught returning from a vacation overseas with a "rentboy. Unfortunately, NARTH isn't the only religious-right organization to distort legitimate scientific work. Other groups have gotten into trouble over this sadly overlooked aspect of the so-called culture wars. Over the years, there have been 11 other complaints from researchers that their work was being distorted by religious-right and so-called "pro-family" groups, including:.
The women average age 29 in both groups with gay or bisexual fathers had difficulty with adult attachment issues in three areas: they were less comfortable with closeness and intimacy; they were less able to trust and depend on others; and they experienced more anxiety in relationships compared to the women raised by heterosexual fathers.
Sirota's article is about the impact of a homosexual father raising a girl in a heterosexual marriage. It has nothing to do with same-sex couples, nothing to do with same-sex adoption at all.
National Institute of Health director Francis Collins , who rebuked the right-wing American College of Pediatricians for falsely claiming that he stated that sexual orientation is not hardwired by DNA. Six researchers of a Canadian study Robert S. Hogg, Stefan A. Strathdee, Kevin J. Craib, Michael V. Shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T. Schehter , who complained in that religious-right groups were distorting their work to claim that gay men have a short life span. Wolitski, Ron Stall, and Ronald O.
Valdiserri , who complained that their work was being distorted by Focus on the Family. Kyle Pruett, Ph. Robert Spitzer , professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, who has consistently complained that religious-right groups distorted his study to claim that same-sex orientation is easily changeable.
Judith Stacey , professor of sociology at New York University, who has had to, on more than one occasion, cry foul over how religious-right groups distorted her work on LGBT families. Greg Remafedi , professor at the University of Minnesota, who has complained several times about how religious-right groups, such as the American College of Pediatricians and PFOX, have distorted his work , all to no avail.
The American College of Pediatricians refused his request to remove his work from their site. In John Horgan, a science journalist and director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, became the 11th researcher to complain. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Today is National Voter Registration Day!
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Another Researcher Complains That an Anti-Gay Group Distorted Her Work | HuffPost
Drew Sermon's family drove for seven hours to be here. Here are his father, Randy, and his mother, Shavon. Drew's uncle and aunt, Rich and Susan, are here, too. So are his grandparents, Chuck and Carol. Together they have brought Drew all the way from Indiana to Nashville, Tennessee, because last October Drew - only 18 years old and the darling of the family - told them he was gay. They do not know what else to do. The Love Won Out conference is taking place in a Baptist church beside a busy freeway.
It is a modern building of chocolate brown brick, closer in style and scale to a convention centre than a place of worship.
A thousand people have gathered inside. Some are here because of the devastating incompatibility of their religious faith and their sexual feelings. People have come from as far as New York and California, and what everyone wants to hear is Love Won Out's magical promise: that homosexuality can be cured.
They are told that homosexuality is not a sexual identity, but a developmental disorder. It has a name - same-sex attraction disorder, or SSAD - and a cure - reparative therapy. Throughout the day, a series of men and women introduce themselves on stage as "ex-gays" and tell of their personal journey out of homosexuality into heterosexual happiness, a transition they attribute to psychological insight and biological truth. There are five Love Won Out conferences every year in the US and, although they are church-based, their message is expressed not in scripture but in the language of science.
If you want to be saved, find a therapist. Some of you may have a homosexual problem. But you are still a heterosexual. This," he reminds them, "by the way, is non-religious, non-political information. This is scientific information. Homosexuality has not been classified as a mental illness in America for more than 30 years.
It was removed from the national register of mental illnesses, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM , in , following pressure from gay activists. Nearly 20 years later, Nicolosi founded an organisation for psychiatrists and psychologists who still rejected that decision, and believed homosexuals could and should be cured. As president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality Narth , Nicolosi devised a programme of reparative therapy - sometimes known as conversion or reorientation therapy - and built up an international network of therapists who provide this treatment.
It is not an insignificant network. Narth's membership includes a former president of the American Mental Health Counsellors' Association and university clinical professors of psychiatry Charles Socarides, Dean Byrd and Benjamin Kaufman. Along with Drs Jeffrey Satinover, Richard Fitzgibbons and Irving Bieber, all have published or contributed to books about reparative therapy, and claim that at least a third of all clients can be completely cured of their homosexuality.
Their views didn't enjoy a great deal of credibility in the s. Sexual reorientation had traditionally been an evangelical idea found in ex-gay ministries, who preached that homosexuality could be prayed away. Most mental health organisations took the view that reparative therapy was no more clinically effective, still less appropriate, than a prayer.
It is not available in the UK, though some therapists elsewhere in Europe provide it. Since , any client in the US seeking reparative therapy has been obliged by the American Psychiatric Association to sign a consent form acknowledging its position: that sexual reorientation is impossible and that attempting it may cause psychological harm. The only treatment the APA would condone was gay affirmative therapy, designed to reconcile clients with their sexuality.
Then something happened that Nicolosi and his associates could not in their wildest dreams have hoped for. To the gay activists involved in the campaign it was unimaginable, but to the families of boys such as Drew Sermon, it is news to be clung to like a life raft.
The very psychiatrist who led the removal of homosexuality from the DSM in announced, in , that he was going to investigate the success rate of reparative therapy. Dr Robert Spitzer, by then a senior professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, wanted to know whether it was possible for homosexuals to change.
Could therapy turn gays straight? Late last year, Spitzer's study was published. And his answer was: yes. Spitzer found men and women who claimed to have changed their orientation from gay to straight, thanks to therapy, and he interviewed them.
In 74 of these subjects, the only change Spitzer could identify was their decision to call themselves straight, or to stop having sex, and these he rejected from the study.
He found that all of the remainder - men and 57 women - had changed to some degree. Two-thirds of the men and almost half the women had reached what Spitzer called "good heterosexual functioning": a sustained, loving heterosexual relationship within the past year, providing enough emotional satisfaction to rate at least seven on a point scale.
Most enjoyed satisfying heterosexual sex at least once a month, and never or rarely thought of someone of the same sex during intercourse. Spitzer's questions explored fantasies during masturbation and sex, yearnings for romantic or emotional involvement, and a range of other indicators of sexual orientation.
Who were these people? One participant agreed to speak to me if we used a pseudonym. Ben Newman was a married man from Virginia who came to reparative therapy seven years ago, after his wife had discovered yet another gay affair. Suicide was becoming an increasingly appealing option. But I really resented the suggestion that the only politically correct solution for me was to abandon my wife and children, and throw myself into the gay life.
That wasn't what I wanted. But I was saying, it just doesn't feel right. Being gay doesn't feel like me at my core. It's not a fact I feel comfortable with. I wanted to change my sexual attitude instead. Another spoke to me from Washington DC. When Richard Cohen first sought help in the s, therapists told him to accept the fact that he was born gay.
I just knew it in my gut. Well, I did, and she didn't. We were both looking for the same thing - a good man. His marriage prospered, he had three children, and "my wife certainly isn't the only woman I'm attracted to!
How had it happened? Reparative therapy is based on a theory of a child's early rejection by the same-sex parent. It applies equally to lesbians, but the literature tends to focus on men and states that homosexuality begins when a young boy experiences his father as cold or hostile. To protect himself from the pain of rejection, he develops "defensive detachment" - he rejects his father in retaliation.
But, in doing so, the boy rejects masculinity, and this leads to a gender identity disorder. The little boy, having spurned masculinity, finds he cannot be a real boy. Females are familiar. Males are mysterious. But what he is really searching for in gay sex is his own forsaken masculinity.
As Cohen describes it: "The desire is connected to the hurt. When you get to the bottom of the wound and heal it, the desire leaves you. To deal with my sexual desires for men, I had to heal with my father. I jumped into his lap. I said, 'Dad, I need to grieve in your arms now. Just let me cry. I was looking for you in their arms. So now there's no need for those same-sex attractions to be in my body or my soul any more. Nicolosi says he has personally treated more than 1, men at his California clinic.
Unlike most reparative therapists, he has never been gay. Middle-aged, married, Nicolosi wears a beige corduroy jacket and his manner is dry, with a hint of the librarian about it, though on stage it takes an occasional detour into schlock for laughs. I'm in the school play! I got the role of a dad. His clients are encouraged to form healthy friendships with straight men, take vigorous physical exercise and use manly vocabulary such as "dude".
Classic Freudian preoccupations with a client's mother and his supposed fear of women are largely dispensed with in this work. If the client can sort out his relationship with men, his feelings for women are assumed to take care of themselves.
And why do they want to be straight? From Nicolosi's account of "the gay lifestyle", they would have to be mad not to. On every indicator of personal contentment, the doctor informs his audience, homosexuals score badly. They have more depression, more group sex, more failed relationships.
Gay couplings are characteristically brief and very volatile, with much fighting, arguing, making up again, and continual disappointments.
We owe it to young people to tell them that, if they go in that direction, these are the things they will encounter. More drug abuse. More unhappiness. And we aren't even talking about Aids. How much is all this about society's homophobia? Yes, a little bit. But nothing like as much as it is about the pathology of homosexuality.